Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) refers to a variety of symptoms that can persist for weeks or months following the occurrence of a concussion. The reason behind this development is still unknown, but the Mayo Clinic suggests symptoms could result from structural damage to the brain or a disruption of neurotransmitter systems. Symptoms can include headaches and dizziness, fatigue, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, loss of concentration and memory, and noise and light sensitivity. Treatment for PCS is symptom dependent, but studies have shown cannabis is effective in reducing brain damage and managing the symptoms associated with the condition.
Studies have found CBD activates the 5-hydroxytriptamine1A (5-HT1A) receptor in order to protect against neural damage following acute and chronic brain damage. In one study, cannabinoids decreased brain swelling and inflammation and facilitated recovery when administered directly following a traumatic brain injury. Another study found newborn mice who had suffered a hypoxic-ischemic event experienced neuroprotection and limited brain cell death with the administration of CBD. Other studies found cannabinoids prevent glutamate excitotoxicity, intracellular calcium accumulation, activation of cell death pathways, microglia activation, neurovascular reactivity, and circulating leukocytes following a brain injury. Cannabis also effectively manages PCS symptoms by lowering stress, combatting depression, and improving sleep and reducing pain.
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